How flexible should a scrum master (aka agile coach) be with a team that is new to scrum?
Even with a team of agile coaches recently, I was told I was being “too strict with the rules of scrum”. There are only 11 rules! (Coaching coaches is the worst).
Let’s think of this like a kitchen in a world class restaurant. Would a kitchen staff call a tablespoon a “gooberspoon”? Is a sous chef called a “flavor coach”? NO!
Because every time a new person joins this kitchen, they must waste time learning how to “decode” the words this kitchen is using. This will also slow down the entire kitchen staff because they will have to slow down to teach the new person.
And mistakes are sure to happen. So, we slow down and have lower quality.
Then why do we, as scrum masters, allow scrum teams to “bend” the scrum framework before the team has mastered scrum?
There is an empirical reason for everything in scrum.
If you break the framework, you break the metrics. Sure, there might be success, but it can’t be proven with data.
Scrum is a habit. And habit removes complexity and risk.
You wouldn’t change your Grandma’s chocolate chip cookie recipe because it guarantees a predictable outcome.
We need to be better at educating our teams, product owners, and organizational leaders as to the power of following scrum. And then show them with data that it worked.